Malacañang: Duterte 'unhappy' with Cabinet, wants reshuffle

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) — The Palace on Monday hinted at a looming reshuffle among the Cabinet members of the Duterte administration.

In a press briefing in Camarines Sur, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte is unhappy with the Cabinet, so changes will be in effect.

"Hindi raw po siya happy sa gabinete niya at siyempre magkakaroon ng pagbabago. Pero yun lang po ang sinabi ni Presidente. Wala na po siyang ibang nabanggit," Roque said.

[Translation: He said he's not happy with his Cabinet, so of course there will be changes, but he said nothing else.]

This follows the Justice Department's dismissal of the drug charges against alleged top drug lords Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim.

Roque said Duterte was so mad after he found out about the news that he punched a wall.

In a Facebook post, Roque said Duterte questioned why the case against Espinosa was dismissed by state prosecutors when he personally admitted he was involved in the drug trade.

The presidential spokesperson also quoted Duterte slamming Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.

"Pag-nakawala yan si Lim at Espinosa, siya ang ipapalit ko," he said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, however, said the President made the remark "in jest."

Aguirre earlier said he was not involved in the issuance of the dismissal of charges, adding he did not even see the resolution before it was released.

In its resolution, the Justice Department's panel of prosecutors cited the "dearth of evidence" and the only witness' inconsistent statements as the basis for clearing the suspects.

The document was signed on December 20, 2017 and made public last March 12.